234 (City of Durham) Squadron ATC is part of the UK’s Air Training Corps and is based in Durham City in the North East of England. The Air Training Corps along with the Combined Cadet Force (RAF) form the RAF Air Cadets, a national youth organisation support by the Royal Air Force.
Membership into the Air Training Corps is open to all young people in School Year 8 and above. You can remain as a Staff Cadet until you are 20 years old and many cadets do! With almost 41,000 members and over 1,000 Squadrons, the Air Training Corps is one of the country’s premier youth organisations and the world’s largest youth air training organisation. the cadets are supported by a volunteer staff of nearly 10,000 uniformed and non-uniformed members, as well as 5,000 Civilian Committee Members.
The Air Training Corps is the UK’s largest operator of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. Perhaps that’s not surprising when you learn that HRH Prince Philip is the ATC’s Commodore-in-Chief, taking a keen interest in the organisation and its members.
The Air Cadet Organisation provides the opportunity for members to take part in a huge and diverse range of exciting and challenging activities. Many are organised at National and Regional level, with many others taking place at Wing and Squadron levels.
If you’re interested in Flying, Gliding, Adventure Training, Camping, Engineering, Music, Shooting, Drill, Watersports, Abseiling, Overseas Travel… (to name but a few!), you will be delighted to know that they are all activities provided by the ATC!
RAF Air Cadets develop a sense of community and citizenship valued by employers, both military and civil. RAF Air Cadets also get the opportunity to fly in RAF and commercial aircraft – with many progressing to achieve Flying Scholarships and their Private Pilot’s License (PPL).
The Air Training Corps, which has charitable status, is not a recruiting organisation but many members do go on to have careers in the Royal Air Force, other Services or civilian life. Currently, approximately 34% of all aircrew (pilots, navigators and NCO aircrew) and 20% of Officers are ex-Cadets.
The Aims of the Air Cadet Organisation are:
- Promote and encourage a practical interest in aviation and the Royal Air Force among young people
- Provide training which will be useful in the Services and civilian life
- Encourage the spirit of adventure and develop qualities of leadership and good citizenship